A century ago, John Dewey remarked that when home changes radically, school must change as well. With home, family, and gender roles dramatically altered in recent years, we are faced with a difficult problem: in the lives of more and more American children, no one is home. The Schoolhome proposes a solution. Drawing selectively from reform movements of the past and relating them to the unique needs of today's parents and children, Jane Martin presents a philosophy of education that is responsive to America's changed and changing realities. As more and more parents enter the workforce, the historic role of the domestic sphere in the education and development of children is drastically reduced. Consequently, Martin advocates removing the barriers between the school and the home--making school a metaphorical "home," a safe and nuturant environment that provides children with the experience of affection and connection otherwise missing or inconsistent in their lives. In this proposition, the traditional schoolhouse where children are drilled in the three Rs is transformed into a "schoolhome" where learning is animated by an ethic of social awareness. At a time when many school reformers are calling for a return to basics and lobbying for skills education and quick-fix initiatives, Martin urges us to reconsider the distinctive legacies of Dewey and Montessori and to conceive of a school that integrates the values of the home with those of social responsibility. With cultural diversity and gender equality among its explicit goals, the schoolhome expands upon Dewey's edict to educate the "whole child," seeking instead to educate all children in the culture's whole heritage. Martin eloquently challenges reformers to reclaim the founding fathers' vision of the nation as a domestic realm, and to imagine a learning environment whose curriculum and classroom practice reflect not merely an economic but a moral investment in the future of our children. More than a summons to action, this remarkable book is a call to rethink the assumptions we bring to the educational enterprise, and so, to act wisely.
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